Hughes v Hughes

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Judgment Date01 January 1990
Date01 January 1990
CourtPrivy Council
(Q.B.D.)
Hughes
and
Hughes

Want of prosecution - Delay - Failure to serve statement of claim - Extension of time - Discretion of court - Factors relevant to exercise of discretion -Rules of the Supreme Court (Northern Ireland), O. 3, r. 5.

The plaintiff was employed by the defendant who was his father. Following an accident at work in December, 1985, the plaintiff's solicitors wrote a letter of claim to the defendant in March, 1986. The letter was expressed in vague terms and did not give any details about the accident. Despite several requests from the defendant's insurers, the plaintiff's solicitors failed to provide any details of the allegations of negligence. The writ of summons was served in January. 1987, but no statement of claim was served. The defendant applied for an order dismissing the action for failure to serve a statement of claim. At the hearing of the summons on 22 September, 1989, at which the plaintiff was not represented, the Master made an order that unless the statement of claim was served within 14 days the action should be dismissed for want of prosecution. No statement of claim was served and dismissal of the action took effect 14 days after service of the order. In June, 1990, the plaintiff applied under Order 3, rule 5 for an extension of time for service of the statement of claim. The Master made an order extending the time. The defendant appealed. Held allowing the appeal, that, 1, the court had power to extend the time where an "unless"order had been made but not complied with, but it was a power which was to be exercised cautiously and with due regard to the principle that orders were made to be complied with and not to be ignored. Samuels v. Linzi Dresses Ltd.ELR[1981] Q.B. 115 applied. 2. It was a matter of discretion for the court to decide whether to extend the time. Various factors were be taken into account in determining how it was to be exercised, and, while it was not necessary for an explanation for the delay to be given, the party seeking the extension must put before the court some material to serve as a foundation for the court's exercise of its discretion. Where no explanation is given for delay, an...

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14 cases
  • Shanghai Tycoon Co Ltd and Orient International Holdings (HK) v Dynes (Gerard) trading as Clonmore Plant Sales
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Northern Ireland)
    • 11 June 2010
    ...action in favour of the party on whose benefit it is made. The Practice Direction makes reference to the discussion in Hughes v. Hughes [1990] NI 295. as from 28 April 2003 an ‘unless order’ will include a clause, as set out in the Schedule to the Practice Direction, the purpose of which wo......
  • Irish Family Planning Association v Youth Defence
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 4 February 2004
    ...v The Mayor Alderman and Burgesses of the City of Limerick [1995] 2 ILRM 561 distinguished. Reporter: L. O'S. Citations: HUGHES V HUGHES 1990 NI 295 PRIMOR PLC V STOKES KENNEDY CROWLEY 1996 2 IR 459 O'DOMHNAILL V MERRICK 1984 IR 151 RAINSFORD V LIMERICK CORPORATION 1995 2 ILRM 561 RSC O......
  • Eileen O'Connor v John Player and Sons Ltd, Rothmans of Pall Mall (Ireland) Ltd and Benson and Hedges (Dublin) Ltd
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 12 March 2004
    ...V STOKES KENNEDY CROWLEY 1996 2 IR 459 ANGLO IRISH BEEF PROCESSORS LTD & DJS MEATS LTD v MONTGOMERY & ORS 2002 3 IR 510 HUGHES V HUGHES 1990 NI 295 COLLINS V BUS ATHA CLIATH (DUBLIN BUS) & BUS EIREANN UNREP SUPREME 22.10.1999 1999/5/1062 SHEEHAN V AMOND 1982 IR 235 DOWD V KERRY CO COUNC......
  • AB and Universitair Ziekenhuis Gent and Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Northern Ireland)
    • 6 May 2021
    ...to comply with an ‘unless order’, Gillen J in Walsh v McClinton [2009] NIQB 32 referred to the judgment of Carswell J in Hughes v Hughes [1990] NI 295 where it was emphasised that it was necessary for some explanation to be given for 21 the cause of the delay, and taking that into account t......
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